There are an awful lot of promises about the future of education flying about the news at the moment – I can’t think why …
Nicky Morgan says she’s aiming for every pupil by the age of 11 to know their times tables off by heart, Milliband is focusing on the qualifications of teachers and Wales have announced that they’re going to colour code the Ofsted ratings – perhaps because someone was having trouble spelling ‘Outstanding’.
It’s hard to know exactly what the future of education will hold. Especially post-BETT where digital innovators scream that technology is the only future, while across the country many uphold that computers are ruining our children and that the 3 R’s and discipline are the only way to drive the next generation forward.
And we are stuck in a funny age; measuring our weight in stone and our furniture in centimetres. It’s as confused as the Luddites who write emails and then print them out to file in a drawer, or as the many, many, many teachers who take copious digital photos as teaching evidence but then print them out individually and pritt-stik them into scrapbooks.
Technology should make life easier, not harder. There’s no point in typing a digital shopping list and then battling with the supermarket wifi to view it when a post-it and pencil would have done a better job.
Equally, why spend hours printing and glueing when you can just give Ofsted a login to see all the videos and photos they need as teaching evidence. Live, annotated, cross-referenced, accessible to all and totally permanent.
If there’s one thing that no-one needs a crystal ball to see – it’s that classroom scrapbooks are heading for the scrapheap.